The African tribal marks are scarifications which are specific identification and beautification marks designed on the face or body of Africans especially Yoruba people.

The tribal marks are part of the Yoruba culture and are usually inscribed on the body by burning or cutting off the skin during childhood.[1] The primary function of the tribal marks is for identification of a person’s tribe, family or patrilineal heritage.

Some marks are symbols of beauty, Yoruba creativity and keeping mischievous children alive (ila Abiku). This practice was popular among Yoruba people of Nigeria, Benin, and Togo. During the trans-Atlantic slave trade, tribal identification and facial stripes became important.[citation needed] Some repatriated slaves later reunited with their communities by looking at facial stripes

In traditional Yoruba societies, every child is born into a patrilineal clan called idile baba in Yoruba language. The clan share clan names (orile), poetry (oriki), taboos (eewo) and facial marks (ila). The facial marks on the child assigns the child full clan membership rights. The children with facial marks are called Okola.

The tribal marks could be inscribed on the breast, arm, lap or buttocks, but they are usually on the face.